Department for International Agreements and International Litigation,
Israel Ministry of Justice
In response to the draft report which has been received in our office. Our response is as follows:
1. We were requested to submit our reference to the Btselem report in question.
2. At the outset, we shall present our general response with regard to restrictions on movement imposed in the region. Afterwards, we shall respond to specific claims raised by the report, based on the relevant facts as they are known to us.
3. We wish to point out that the present reference does not pretend to respond to the entirety of the report’s specified, elaborate claims. As the majority of these claims are factual claims, we are unable to comment in regards to them.
4. It is superfluous to point out that presenting us with a report which refers to specific cases, but is devoid of identification details, does not allow the relevant bodies, (led by the IDF), to review the specific cases raised by the report, and to examine and deal with those claims as required.
5. Moreover, a considerable portion of the claims raised by the report have been rejected by the High Court of Justice, while others are pending, or at various other stages of deliberation before the High Court of Justice.
"We wish to make clear at the outset that the report in question makes no reference at all to the State of Israel’s’ broader security needs, which are legitimate overall, and form the foundation of the restrictions on movement, as it has been imposed in Judea and Samaria… We wish to remind that from the very beginning, that is, since September 2000, the State of Israel has been coping with a terror attack of unprecedented strength, which is addressed towards the citizens of Israel wherever they may be, and towards Israelis who live and pass through the region…
Unfortunately, the terrorism threat which took the lives of over a thousand Israeli citizens’, necessitates in certain cases, that there be a restriction on the freedom of movement within the area. This need derives from the fact that the Palestinian terrorism operates from within the civil population under its auspices, whilst obstinately and severely violating international law. This intricate reality dictates, in certain cases, the imposition of restrictions on movement within the area."